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2012 Nissan GT-R - Top Secret Clearance

The 1,600-whp GT-R that completes one man's ultimate car collection

Chad Burdette
Mar 15, 2019

Heng Thammarat's Nissan GT-R is a small yet imperative part of his automotive collection, which resides in his beautifully appointed private garage in Bangkok, Thailand. If it looks familiar to you, it's likely because you've seen it in a previous issue of Super Street in which we revealed his museum-quality garage and the jaw-dropping JDM legends that live inside. Heng has a thing for Nissan's legendary Skyline and GT-R, and he might be one of the only people in the world who owns a Hakosuka, R30, R31, R32, R33, R34, and R35. Not just project cars under construction, they're all restored to factory perfection, then modified with only the best aftermarket parts available to man.

2012 nissan GT R top secret v3 bodykit Photo 2/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Top Secret V3 Bodykit

The latest generation of the GT-R is the R35, a car that's been sold in Japan since 2007 and has been offered to the rest of the world since 2008. Heng's example is a '12 Black Edition model, which he purchased five years ago. We should note that in Thailand, import taxes on Japanese cars are extremely high; for example, the current '19 GT-R would cost in excess of $400,000 USD! You have to have deep pockets and a real desire to own Godzilla, and Heng wasn't going to let the absurd sticker price stop him.

The architecture of the R35 GT-R has remained fairly similar over the years, employing a twin-turbo 3.8L V-6. Heng's example came from the factory with 530 hp, although he started to feel quite underwhelmed shortly after picking it up. This was also after he'd had enough time comparing it to the highly modified, RB-powered Skylines in his garage. He reached out to his friends at GT Tuning and Sing Service to start modifying the R35 to satisfy the need for more performance. The result is simply ridiculous...1,600 all-wheel-drive horsepower! It's no surprise Heng's GT-R is considered one of the fastest street cars in Southeast Asia. The insane power levels are achieved with a very specific combination of the absolute best powertrain parts on the planet. The VR38DETT has been strengthened and the displacement bumped up to 4.0 liters thanks to an ETS stroker kit. This allows the giant twin Forced Performance turbochargers in the AMS Alpha 16 kit to spool much quicker than the OEM-spec engine would ever allow. Equipped with all the necessary supporting hardware-including a ShepTrans fully built transmission (able to handle 1,500 lb-ft of torque), ported head with Tomei cams, upgraded fuel system, and 4-inch titanium exhaust, all managed by a high-speed Syvecs S8 ECU-Heng's GT-R isn't anything you'd want to remotely think of messing with. With more than triple the factory horsepower, the GT-R more than satisfied Heng's need for speed. Next, it was time to upgrade the exterior and interior to the same degree.

2012 nissan GT R race x carbon fiber intake manifolds Photo 6/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Race X Carbon Fiber Intake Manifolds

One major difference we've noticed with car guys in Thailand is their taste in styling tends to be bolder than us here in America. They also manage to choose a theme from the beginning and stick with it, which results in some absolutely stunning builds! Heng insisted on finding the right balance between OEM+ styling and the overwhelming widebody kits often seen on R35 platforms-not NISMO, but not Rocket Bunny or Liberty Walk, either... So when the legendary Japanese tuning firm Top Secret released its Version 3 body kit, which was the perfect blend of mild and wild, Heng knew it was a mandatory addition to his GT-R. Once the aero package was installed, it was accented with other modifications, including an impressive computer-controlled Aeromotion active rear wing, which allows instant and automatic aerodynamic adjustments for every situation. Other aesthetic improvements include a handful of carbon goodies, from the JUN roof spoiler to the Tommy Kaira door handles. Needless to say, Heng has excellent taste when it comes to the brands he chooses.

Top Secret comes into play again when we delve into the GT-R's suspension. A custom-spec coilover setup has been added which also utilize Robuerta cups front and rear to raise the GT-R whenever Heng needs to get up driveways. There are also Top Secret control arms, which allow for a wider adjustability of camber.

2012 nissan GT R top secret v3 front bumper Photo 10/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Top Secret V3 Front Bumper

Tired of Top Secret parts yet? Well, we're not done! When the decision came for Heng to choose wheels, he stayed true to his theme and sourced the very rare Top Secret x OZ Racing forged wheels, which were then wrapped in Toyo R888R tires. Not only is this combination beautiful, strong, and light, but it makes sure those 1,600 ponies get to the ground.

Stopping Godzilla became a real concern, and like the rest of the build, Heng chose to go all out and fit massive ceramic carbon brakes from Endless. One look at this insane braking setup and it's clear it gets the job done and looks beautiful while doing it.

2012 nissan GT R nismo bucket seats Photo 14/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Nismo Bucket Seats

Opening the driver-side door, you instantly notice one thing: It's not a race car; it's actually a very comfortable and pleasant place to be. There are many interior upgrades, including NISMO carbon seats, an Alcantara steering wheel, leather shift knob, floor mats, and a bolt-in MCR roll bar.

This combination of race car power, high-end JDM parts, and streetcar comfort makes this one of our favorite GT-Rs we've featured. What makes this story even more impressive is how this car fits into Heng's collection of legendary sports cars. It may not be as rare as his Hakosuka or as iconic as his R34, but it's definitely the most dangerous warrior in his fleet.

Collect 'Em All

Heng thammarat hakosuka Photo 18/34   |   Heng Thammarat Hakosuka
Heng thammarat nissan gtsr Photo 19/34   |   Heng Thammarat Nissan Gtsr
Hengs thammarat supra rx7 Photo 20/34   |   Hengs Thammarat Supra Rx7
Heng thammarat r33 skyline Photo 21/34   |   Heng Thammarat R33 Skyline

Here's but a small glimpse inside Heng's incredible man cave that houses every generation of Skyline, other legendary project cars, and all sorts of automotive toys and memorabilia.

2012 nissan GT R top secret v3 bodykit Photo 22/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Top Secret V3 Bodykit
2012 nissan GT R top secret front fender Photo 26/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Top Secret Front Fender
2012 nissan GT R top secret OZ racing wheel Photo 30/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Top Secret OZ Racing Wheel
2012 nissan GT R top secret version 3 bodykit Photo 34/34   |   2012 Nissan GT R Top Secret Version 3 Bodykit
By Chad Burdette
53 Articles
2012 Nissan GT-R - Top Secret Clearance
Tuning Menu
Owner: Heng Thammarat
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Occupation: Car Collector
Power: 1,608 whp, 1,560 lb-ft of torque
Engine: AMS Alpha 16 turbo kit, Omega Brushless fuel pump system, oil catch tank, coolant expansion tank kit, Race X front-mount intercooler, fuel cooler system, carbon intake manifold, front oil cooler, fuel rail; ETS stroker kit with custom 9:1 compression pistons, 4-inch titanium exhaust; ported cylinder head; Tomei cams; ARP main and head bolts; Injector Dynamics 2,000cc injectors; Trial dual blow-off valves; Linney 72mm throttle bodies; flex fuel system
Drivetrain: ShepTrans Stage 5 rebuild; GReddy transmission oil cooler kit; HKS differential oil cooler kit; Driveshaft Shop 1,000hp axle and stub kit
Engine Management: Syvecs S8 ECU with monitor display
Footwork & Chassis: Top Secret custom-spec Super Coilover Pro, adjustable suspension kit with Roberuta front and rear cups, front and rear control arms; Cusco front and rear sway bars
Brakes: Endless ceramic carbon brakes
Wheels & Tires: 20x11 +30 front, +15 rear Top Secret/OZ Racing forged wheels; 285/35R20 front, 315/30R20 rear Toyo R888 tires
Exterior: Top Secret version 3 body kit, carbon-fiber side vents; Aeromotion S2.Dynamic rear wing; JUN carbon-fiber roof spoiler; Tommy Kaira carbon-fiber door handles
Interior: NISMO seats, steering wheel, shift knob, carbon-fiber mats; custom paddle shifters, carbon-fiber door panels; MCR roll bar; GReddy boost and fuel meters

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